RootsTech 2014

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Blogger is the source of the Genealogy's Star font problems

In two prior posts, I outlined a problem that has been occurring with Google's Blogger program showing a weird font. Everything in the menus comes up in Amharic script. Here is a screen shot showing the Blogger menu bar in the foreign script:


You can click on any image to see it full size. OK, so after I wrote the two blog posts on this problem and sent Google a request for help and posted the problem in detail on the Google Help Forum, I got quite a few helpful suggestions. I also had some long discussions with programmers around the world.

I kept working on the problem and isolated some facts:

1. The problem is entirely confined to Blogger.
2. The problem is not with any one browser. All of the browsers see the same font problem. I have tried Internet Explorer on a PC, Safari, Opera and FireFox in addition to Chrome.
3. The problem is not confined to any one computer or operating system. It shows up on PCs running Windows 8.1 and on iPads running Apple iOS.
4. It does not involve a language selection issue. I have gone to every level of language selection available and made the selection to English and it makes no difference to the Blogger interface.
5. It does not involve a cookie or whatever. I have completely reset and removed all cookies and that also had no effect.

Now, I know what it is not, but I still had not identified what it was. Finally, my son-in-law, who is an Internet portal programmer, came to visit after Christmas. He went through all of my investigations and then started comparing the Blogger interface when someone else signed in to the interface on my account. He noticed that the URL in my account was missing an important element

&hl=en

That's what is missing. When you insert this code into the URL of my Blogger account, you get a restored menu screen:


However, the fix is only temporary. Apparently Blogger thinks my account is in Amharic and there seems to be no setting preferences that change its mind on the subject. The code has to be inserted in the URL before  # and there needs to be a ? in the URL before the insertion point. If there is no ? then the code has to look like this:

?&hl=en

So, the problem is with a command that is coming from the Blogger program thinking that I need Amharic.

Thanks so much to all those who have made suggestions so far. We still need to analyze how the program is omitting the code, but it does help to be able to clear up the menus temporarily.

When this first happened I thought it might be a malicious attack on my blog. But I began to be convinced that it was a settings problem. Now I am beginning wonder again if there isn't a code problem with Blogger that only Google can see. Of course Google has been absolutely no help at all and has not responded to my reported complaint.

Stay tuned for future developments.

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